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Artificial Limbs

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 31 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Pensions what proportion of the applications outstanding for artificial limbs is from war pensioners resident in this country, civilians resident in this country and visitors to this country, respectively.

Fifteen per cent. of the outstanding orders for artificial limbs are in respect of war pensioners resident in this country: about 85 per cent. relate to National Health Service patients. The proportion relating to visitors to this country is negligible; my Department has details of only six such cases.

Will the Parliamentary Secretary give an assurance that foreigners are at the bottom of the list of outstanding applications?

All these cases are dealt with in accordance with the advice of our medical advisers. As I have said, we have knowledge of only six cases of foreigners who have applied for artificial limbs. One was the case of a French trawler hand who had an accident at sea off the English coast and was taken ashore at Plymouth. He received hospital treatment and was ordered a limb under the National Health scheme. The Ministry of Health were approached on the question and confirmed that a limb could be supplied. I should point out that we only act as agents for the Ministry of Health so far as these limbs are concerned.


asked the Minister of Pensions whether all applications for a first artificial limb enjoy priority over applications for a spare one.